Gayle blasts Big Bash farewell

Chris Gayle signed out of this year’s Twenty20 Big Bash with an incredible pyrotechnic display that galloped Western Australia to a 32-run victory, and eliminated Queensland from the competition on Tuesday.

In an innings of sheer brutality, the West Indies opener blasted 92 from 40 balls, as WA reached 202 for four from their allocation of 20 overs, after choosing to bat on a hard, true Gabba pitch.

Before a crowd of 12,000, Gayle smashed seven fours and eight sixes to help raise AUS$11,500 for the Queensland Flood Appeal, after a local brewery offered to pay $500 for every four struck in the match and $1,000 for every six.

“I just wanted to finish on a high,” said Gayle, who left to join West Indies for their three-match One-day International tour of Sri Lanka ahead of next month’s World Cup.

“What a way to leave Australia on a high,” added Gayle. “It’s been good fun with the Warriors. The fans been sweet all round! Think I might stay! But can’t.

“Glad you all were entertained! I was laughing out loud. Going to have a drink with the lads. It’s a farewell one. I’m sad, but its life… Got to move on!”

Queensland fought bravely, but there were restricted to 170 for five from their 20 overs, with uncapped Nathan Reardon leading the way with 56, and England T20 World Cup-winning opener Michael Lumb supporting with 42.

Gayle peppered the long-on boundary with his monstrous hitting, including one of the biggest sixes ever struck at the famous ground. The monster stroke off fast-medium bowler Michael Neser was measured at 120 metres, and nearly tore the roof off the grandstand.

In the course of the fireworks, Gayle surged to the fastest 50 of the Big Bash season from 20 balls, and the third fastest in the six-year history of the competition.